Finding the best wingers from Danish Superliga – data analysis
In this data analysis piece, we will be identifying wingers to be scouted that are currently playing in the 2021/22 Danish Superliga. The wingers’ evolution in football has been well documented where they once upon a time were only key to creating chances but not scoring goals. The modern-day wingers have changed the trend by getting more involved than their strikers in front of goal.
In our analysis, we will be considering both the attacking as well as defensive attributes. We will be looking at players who have registered at least 800 minutes of football in the league so far this season. We will shortlist the top options according to the statistics and data analysis. Let’s get into the analysis.
Wingers over the past 20 years have had their roles re-defined. Where once they were used for playing crosses into the box for strikers, the last 20 years have seen wingers being in more inverted positions and are more of a goal threat to the team than their strikers. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United and Real Madrid, Lionel Messi for Barcelona or even Mohammed Salah for Liverpool currently are some of the best goal-scoring wingers of the current generations. So let’s compare the wingers in Superliga based on their goal-scoring ability.
Junior Brumado – The 22-year old forward from Midtjylland. The Brazilian has played more of a centre-forward this season but has also played some important minutes as a winger. He has 0.78 goals per game from an xG of 0.42 per game. He has comfortably over-performed on his xG and is one of the best finishers in the league.
Sebastian Jørgensen – The 20-year old left-footed right-winger from Silkeborg. The youngster has averaged 0.42 goals per game but averages 0.5 xG per game. Though he underperforms his xG, he still seems to be scoring a good amount of goals for his team and gets into good positions.
Nicolai Vallys – The 25-year old winger from Silkeborg. The Danish has averaged 0.39 goals per game from an xG of 0.32 per game. We can say that he has overperformed his xG well and is somewhat at a very sustainable level.
Andreas Schjelderup – The 17-year old teenager from Nordsjaelland has been a sensation and an exciting prospect for them this season. He has 0.26 goals per game from an xG of 0.22. Also, he plays a lot more in the CAM position while occasionally has also featured as a left-winger.
Gustav Isaksen – The 20-year old winger from Midtjylland. He has accumulated 0.33 xG but has scored only 0.18 from that per game. Though he might have been underperforming his xG, he seems to be very good at getting into decent scoring positions that has seen him accumulate a lot more xG.
The best wingers are also among the best playmakers and they need to make passes into the opposition penalty area and also need to be able to create good chances for their teammates to score.
In order to look into this aspect, We look into the key passes they play that are basically the shot assist for their teammates. Also, when assessing creativity it’s always better to look at expected assists rather than assists, as that purely values the quality of the chance created, not whether it was converted into a goal.
Gustav Isaksen – He has recorded 0.71 key passes per game with an xA of 0.31. He has been very good for his side in creating good chances but has only 0.26 assists per game, which means that he has been let down by his team’s finishing on multiple occasions.
Jón Þorsteinsson – The 23-year old Icelandic international from AGF. He has recorded 0.57 key passes per game and a decent xA value of 0.18 whereas he has only 0.08 assists per game which shows that he too has been a victim of his team’s sub-par finishing.
Jeppe Simonsen – The 26-year old Haiti international from SønderjyskE. He has played as a winger as well as a full-back. He has recorded 0.84 key passes per game with an xA of 0.15 per game.
Sebastian Jørgensen – He has recorded 0.77 key passes per game with an xA of his shot-assists being at 0.15 per game. But he has been extremely benefitted by his teammates’ ability to convert the chances he has created as he has recorded 0.35 assists per game.
Allan Sousa – The 24-year old left-footed Brazilian from Vejle. He has recorded 0.25 key passes per game which are among the lowest out of all the wingers. This could be due to the fact that he has also played as a CF where he has less creative responsibility around the box. But he has created chances worth 0.19 xA per game which shows that he creates good quality ones when he doesn’t.
Activity in the box
In this section of the analysis, we’ll assess how active the players in the box are. We have shots per 90 in the y-axis and touches in the box per 90 in the x-axis. The colour shows the xG per shot, which allows us to differentiate those players who attempt speculative shots (red) from those who shoot from dangerous positions (green).
Sebastian Jørgensen – The Silkeborg winger has recorded 2.72 shots per game and 4.46 touches inside the opposition box, which is the highest among the wingers in the league. He also boasts a very good xG per shot value of 0.18 which means that he takes shots from very good scoring positions and makes good movements into such regions.
Nicolai Vallys – He has made 2.63 shots per game and 3.53 touches in the box per game. He too is very active in the box compared to the other wingers and attacking midfielders in the league. His xG per shot may not be that high which could be due to his inclination of shooting from less feasible positions.
Gustav Isaksen – He has a similar stat value to that of Vally where he averages 2.63 shots per game and 3.53 touches in the box per game. His xG per shot stands at 0.13, showing that he also likes to take shots by cutting inside and from outside of the box.
Junior Brumado – The Midtjylland forward has 2.22 shots per game and 2.55 touches in the box per game. We can see that his shots to touch ratio is quite high compared to the other forwards due to his profile of playing as a forward for his side. Also, he has a very good xG per shot value of 0.18 depicting his ability to get into good scoring positions.
Tobias Bech – The 19-year old left-footed winger from Viborg. The teenager has 2.86 shots per game but has made only on average 2.17 touches in the box. This means that he has an inclination to shoot a lot from the outside of the box that can be seen from his xG per shot too with just 0.06.
In this section of the data analysis, we have a look at the players’ ability to get past rivals and create things by themselves. On the x-axis, we have completed dribbles per 90 and on the y-axis, progressive runs per 90 (a continuous ball control by one player attempting to draw the team significantly closer to the opponent goal). Dribbling is an important attribute to a winger and his ability to get past an opponent can open defences in a much easier fashion.
Tobias Bech – The youngster has made 4.07 successful dribbles per game and 3.09 progressive runs per game. Along with that, he seems to be averaging 15.54 offensive duels per game.
Jón Þorsteinsson – The Icelandic international has recorded 4.07 successful dribbles per game and 2.86 progressive runs per game. He has also averaged 14.21 offensive duels per game.
Gustav Isaksen – He has recorded around 3 successful dribbles per game along with 2.29 progressive runs per game. Along with that he also engages in a whopping 14.21 offensive duels per game.
Andreas Schjelderup – The teenager has recorded 2.46 successful dribbles and 2.81 progressive runs per game this season. Along with that, he has also averaged 12.3 offensive duels per game this season.
Pione Sisto – The 30-year old winger from Midtjylland has recorded 2.18 successful dribbles per game and 2.49 progressive runs per game. He also averaged 12.94 offensive duels per game this season.
Despite the modern game developing to accommodate a lot of forward players being given the freedom and the fundamentals to do well in possession, the same modern philosophy of the game expects them to track back and defend for the team as a collective process.
Lukas Engel – The 22-year old winger from Vejle has been the best defensive record among the wingers in the league. He has recorded 5.73 defensive duels per game and 5.81 PAdj interceptions per game. Along with that he also averages 10.08 successful defensive actions per game.
Jeppe Simonsen – He has attempted 6.28 defensive duels per game and 4.37 interceptions per game on average. Along with that, he has also completed 8.16 defensive actions per game.
Anders Klynge – The 21-year old winger from Silkeborg has recorded 6.2 defensive duels per game and 3.45 PAdj interceptions per game on average. He has also recorded 6.72 successful defensive actions per game this season.
Tobias Bech – The youngster seems to be showing not only good offensive numbers but is also putting a shift for his side defensively and helping them. He has recorded 5.64 defensive duels per game and 2.94 PAdj interceptions per game. He has also recorded 5.99 successful defensive actions per game this season.
Shortlisting the best U-23 options
We have seen some very fine youngsters being discussed statistically in the previous sections. Based on that we would be shortlisting the top 3 options among them.
The youngest and one of the youngest players playing regularly in the league seems to be good at dribbling and carrying the ball progressively. He also seems to be a winger who puts a great effort into providing his team with defensive security and contributes well in that area. He also is a high volume outside the box shot taker and likes to take a lot of low xG shots. This is something that he needs to be ironing out as he develops his career while also being involved in scoring goals consistently and creating chances.
The Midtjylland winger has been an all-around performer in the attacking sections of the game where he does well in scoring goals, creating chances and also dribbling very well past the defenders showing his skills and tricks. He might not be recording a large number when it comes to defensive contributions, but he still does a lot of a good job for his team in their system in that area.
The youngest winger that we have seen today is an exciting prospect as told before and at a very young age is posting some very good numbers in the dribbling department and also in front of the goal. He can further develop his all-around attacking game when it comes to the chance creation area and also gets into the box more often to score more sustainable goals.
The Silkeborg winger has very good numbers in front of the goal and is also very actively engaged around the box where creates chances good chances for his teammates. He is also a versatile player and can play in multiple positions. He is also an intelligent and awareness oriented player where he does a good job in getting into good scoring positions in front of the goal. One area where he can develop is to provide more defensive contribution for his team.
The Superliga possess some very good and young wingers having great potential. We also shortlisted some hot prospects who might be followed by many clubs across the top-5 European leagues. It will be very interesting to the progress of these young players and how well they shape their future.